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Everything posted by spin-1/2-nuclei

  1. I agree with the other posters here. If you need an industrial strength process & reactor for making acetic anhydride I am sure you can contact the the chemical engineering department of any university familiar with your company or perhaps where one of the employees in R&D or process chemistry might have graduated from - and they would be more than happy to give you a consultation on designing a process and purchasing/building the appropriate reactor/system if necessary.. You can also typically contact industry consultants that may have even built said reactors for other companies etc... Best of luck with your research.. Cheers, Spin
  2. @iggy, First off I think the discussion of compartmentalization is on topic given this thread is about the justification of one's belief in god as this is a quantification of now a catholic friend of mine who also happens to be a scoentist believes in god. To the other poster's comments, compartmentalization is exactly what you'd ca what my fried does. There is no other appropriate word for it. He leaves religion out of science and science out of religion. Iggy thinks the catholic church does not allow this, but I disagree. The catholic church turns a blind eye to many things that would make being a catholic unpatable. For example, natural family planning is preached and preached - BUT - many western Catholics in 1st world countries have only one or two kids. How is this possible, when many of them are still sexually active? It's obvious they use birth control, but it wouldn't be very lucrative for the church to start denying these people communion and/or excommunicating them - so the church turns a blind eye. My friend has made his position clear in numerous bible studies and has never been chastised by any members or priests associated with his church. My objection to iggy's position is that if 90% of Catholics loosely interpret the church's position as well as those stated in the bible then taking literal tranations of texts and even statements made by the Pope surely means that there are very few real Catholics. Many priests say that the Pope does not tell people what to believe in regards to science. As a link I quoted earlier points out, the Church doesn't even require catholics to believe the world is round, or that virgins cannot have children. I find that strange, since science has proven many times over that virgins don't get pregnant and the world can in fact be circumnavigated.. Thus clearly the application of truth cannot contradict truth is not as literal as iggy makes it out to be and this can surely be seen when observing the lives of everyday catholics. Thus I maintain that science cannot explain religion, even for Catholics as they have yet to rewrite some foundations of their religion - like the virgin birth, genesis, age of the earth - to reflect things that have been proven scientifically. Thus, it is my interpretation that the Pope should rather have said truth cannot contradict the interpretation of the bible and thus said interpretation will become dynamic depending on what science proves. He even cautioned that new interpretations might not be swiftly forthcoming and that apparent contradictions may sti exist - they clearly do - and the church's position is that people like my friend should during the interim trust in the bible - even if they don't understand. This is what he does, and it is quite necessary as a scientist then to compartmentalize. Only iggy's interpretation disallows this. Clearly the majority of Catholics do not interpret these statements made by the pope literally and neither does the pope himself or surely Catholics would be forced to believe that rather ridiculous things.. Iggy's notion that Catholics do not believe god is above the law/sciene of man and capable of miracles is also incongruent with catholic teachings as no catholic expects their daughters to become randomly pregnant as virgins. Thus Catholics very clearly believe that there are times when god can and does violate the laws of nature. Thus I maintain that compartmentalization of religion from science remains a valid approach. Even if I personally prefer to have no opinion on god at all and thus feel that my position is the ONLY scientifically valid position, that doesn't mean that people who are both religious and scientists (like my friend) are not sensible nor does it mean those who are religious are not sensible, but rather simply they are using subjective reasoning whereas science relies on objective reasoning, thus the two remain incompatible. To be more clear, one cannot interpret science iggy - it either is or is not valid based on observations. The fact that the interpretations of the bible can be changed by Catholics further proves my point that there is no place for scientific reasoning in religion. Cheers
  3. Then why are you still confused? I never said he follows his own theology. He believes the same things his other church members believe etc.. It isn't like he is practicing a different type of catholicism. That is NOT what compartmentalization means. For example, when you partition a hard drive between two operating systems, you aren't running different operating systems that are somehow different than they would be in any other case. This is why you are confused.. "While Catholics believe the Bible is inspired by the Holy Spirit and that it is true, one cannot take individual biblical quotes or passages and say each one is literally true, Pope Benedict XVI said. “It is possible to perceive the Sacred Scriptures as the word of God” only by looking at the Bible as a whole, “a totality in which the individual elements enlighten each other and open the way to understanding,” the Pope wrote in a message to the Pontifical Biblical Commission. In his message, the Pope said clearer explanations about the Catholic position on the divine inspiration and truth of the Bible were important because some people seem to treat the Scriptures simply as literature while others believe that each line was dictated by the Holy Spirit and is literally true. Neither position is Catholic, the Pope said. “An interpretation of the sacred writings that disregards or forgets their inspiration does not take into account their most important and precious characteristic, that they come from God,” he said. The Catholic position is that the Holy Spirit inspired the biblical writers so that “human words express the word of God”, he said. “Through his word God wants to communicate to us the whole truth about himself and his plan of salvation for humanity,” the Pope wrote. “A commitment to discovering ever more the truth of the sacred books, therefore, is a commitment to seeking to better know God and the mystery of his saving will.” “It is not possible to apply the criterion of inspiration or of absolute truth in a mechanical way, extrapolating a single phrase or expression,” the Pope wrote in the message released today at the Vatican."- http://www.catholicherald.co.uk/news/2011/05/05/pope-insists-bibles-truth-is-found-in-its-totality/ Thus, I maintain that my friend is perfectly within his rights as a catholic to compartmentalize science with religion. As he told me, the man believes 100% in what he reads in the bible - and the scientists believes 100% in what he observes in the lab and never shall the two meet. You may object to his "right" to do this, but his priest certainly doesn't. This is only a problem because of YOUR interpretation of how my friend must behave to be catholic. The church surely does NOT follow your interpretation of their own laws, or they'd have tossed out the idea that there is a god long ago since science has been to date unable to prove god's existence. The Pope was in no way saying that all "truths" in the bible should be backed up by or even aligned with science before they can be taught as truths. Clearly there are exceptions like the virgin birth, and people living hundreds of years to name a few. Why haven't they called for an asterisk to be placed next to any of those statements in the bible so surely their interpretation of "truth cannot contradict truth" is not as literal as you make it out to be.. What you are basically saying is that actors and actresses must believe 100% that they are the person they are pretending to be on stage. Obviously that isn't true. Well the same is apparently true for a religious scientist in my friend's position. As I said before, as a man he believes 100% in what the bible says and the church etc, and as a scientist he believes what the data tells him. I see no contradiction with catholicism here, and neither does my friend or his priest. Cheers
  4. @iggy Did you not see the word interpret in your own quote? Shrugs Moreover, as I've been saying but you failed to read and thus quoted out of context, the church makes the interpretations not the individual catholics, thus the word of god and that of the church are not for the individual to question. This is why my friend, as a scientist, is forces to compartmentalize. It may take the church 50 years to skate around the interpretation of the age of the earth as reported in the bible, my friend kinda has to get science done during that time. You're comparing apples and oranges and that is what makes this discussion futile. Cheers
  5. @essay, I disagree. The only moral/ethical way to approach this is honesty and honesty is unfortunately pessimistic. As a scientist I feel I am obligated to tell things as they are as opposed to placing rosy spins on things that in reality simply smell like shit because they are in fact shit. I'm a research chemist and my projects get funded based on how much money they can bring in not how much help they can provide for mankind. That is to say treatment for an illness is far more likely to get funding from big pharma than a cure. That's because cures cut in to their profit margins... Moreover patents are the devil. If I come up with a brilliant idea, my university just patents that, then it gets bought from them by major industries to prevent loss of profits. That is because they are all about profit - nobody cares what helps mankind if the help isn't bringing in money. If you don't believe me look at what happened with the electric car and the buying up of patents for other greener technologies by big oil. Sorry, but as a scientists, my scientific opinion is that mankind is getting this really wrong, and the data suggests that I'm correct. Look at the swift decline of the west right now & all the other examples I've mentioned earlier. Corporations - not science run this planet and they are doing it wrong. What can I say, sometimes the truth hurts.. Cheers
  6. While I admire your optimism I personally can't share it. Humans exploit other humans, that seems to be the nature of mankind. I need only look at the concerns over the economy etc and all the crap related to the upcoming elections in the USA to be sure of this. Money should not be finite, but it is, by design of those who have it. If I could simply print more money for the starving people in Africa I would, but the economy doesn't work that way and neither does the law. Resources on the other hand are most definitely finite. Not much that can be done about all the waste going on now given that: a.) the uber rich, banks, and the corporations (all interchangeable really) control everything and sustainability is not in their *immediate* best interest and most of them seem alarmingly incapable of cause and effect reasoning or foresight beyond yearly profit margins (thus here we are with sub-prime mortgage crashes, unemployed college grads drowning in student loan debt while tuition costs at state schools continue to rise, elderly people worried about the social security they paid into and were promised, soldiers returning home from war with no medical or social assistance, political crazies trying to find ways not to raise taxes on the uber rich and squeeze even more out from the already destitute ranks of the middle class, and yes starving children in the over exploited and long forgotten Africa, amongst other things) b.) many people still don't believe in things like global warming, population control, or the abolition of things like (racism, sexism, religious intolerance, discrimination against homosexuals, etc) I hate to say it, but mankind has always gotten this wrong in the past, and is continuing to do so. If anything our technology is more of a curse than a blessing. It seems to me to be more like a lit fire cracker in the hands of a toddler than a sword steadily held in the hands of a skilled martial artist.. We are f'ed as a species because on average we are stupid. There are plenty of smart people out there that have provided mankind with technological advancement that he simply doesn't have the emotional intelligence to be entrusted with. If there is a god, then god help us - and soon, because we surely cannot help ourselves.. Cheers
  7. Hello, The reason a reaction occurs or does not occur is based on it's chemical potential. That is to say that reactions occur when the substrates are reactive - i.e. capable of perturbing each other. A good way to look at this is to study frontier molecular orbital theory. Which will describe what is called the homo-lumo gap of a molecule. "Fukui realized that a good approximation for reactivity could be found by looking at the frontier orbitals (HOMO/LUMO). This was based on three main observations of molecular orbital theory as two molecules interact: The occupied orbitals of different molecules repel each other. Positive charges of one molecule attract the negative charges of the other. The occupied orbitals of one molecule and the unoccupied orbitals of the other (especially the HOMO and LUMO) interact with each other causing attraction. From these observations, frontier molecular orbital (FMO) theory simplifies reactivity to interactions between the HOMO of one species and the LUMO of the other. This helps to explain the predictions of the Woodward–Hoffmann rules for thermal pericyclic reactions, which are summarized in the following statement: "A ground-state pericyclic change is symmetry-allowed when the total number of (4q+2)s and (4r)a components is odd" (4q+2)s refers to the number of aromatic, suprafacial electron systems; likewise, (4r)a refers to antiaromatic, antarafacial systems. It can be shown that if the total number of these systems is odd then the reaction is thermally allowed.[2]"- http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Frontier_molecular_orbital_theory After you become comfortable with the information provide above I'd suggest that you look at the reaction mechanisms for both the hydroboration and the oxymercuration. One gives you the Markonikov alcohol (oxymercuration) and the other gives you the anit-Markonikov alcohol. This is an important difference in the regioselectivities of their mechanisms, which you will want to be very familar with. If you have any additional questions, please do not hesitate to come back and ask. Cheers
  8. Again you've misunderstood what I've said because the above in no way contradicts anything I've been saying or anything that my friend believes. To be more clear, I have no knowledge of a reprint of the bible to include the big bang or evolution, nor a change in the age of the earth etc, etc. There are no asterisk next to portions of the bible with corresponding footnotes stating that XY or Z apparently contradicts science thus we will stop teaching this as truth until a decision can be made. By your logic this is what all catholics do, and since it isn't, that surely means that you've misunderstood the inner workings of the church. That is simply because as I have been saying and saying you cannot apply the scientific method and the rigorous requirements of objective reasoning to matters that are purely subjective. Catholics in church are often taught not to question the bible, that is not for the individual catholic to do, that is for the Pope etc, and since my friend is an individual catholic and not the Pope he is forced to compartmentalize things that contradict what he knows to be scientifically valid - and yes those contradictions stand because there has been no reprint of the bible and the Pope has not called for footnotes to be placed next to creationism and genesis, has he? "For my part, when I received those taking part in your academy's plenary assembly on October 31, 1992, I had the opportunity with regard to Galileo to draw attention to the need of a rigorous hermeneutic for the correct interpretation of the inspired word. It is necessary to determine the proper sense of Scripture, while avoiding any unwarranted interpretations that make it say what it does not intend to say. In order to delineate the field of their own study, the exegete and the theologian must keep informed about the results achieved by the natural sciences (cf. AAS 85 1/81993 3/8, pp. 764-772; address to the Pontifical Biblical Commission, April 23, 1993, announcing the document on The Interpretation of the Bible in the Church: AAS 86 1/81994 3/8, pp. 232-243)." Read more: http://www.beliefnet.com/News/Science-Religion/2000/03/Truth-Cannot-Contradict-Truth.aspx#ixzz1XA0ITxzK "Pope John Paul II also said: "A theory is a meta-scientific elaboration, which is distinct from, but in harmony with, the results of observation. With the help of such a theory a group of data and independent facts can be related to one another and interpreted in one comprehensive explanation. The theory proves its validity by the measure to which it can be verified. It is constantly being tested against the facts; when it can no longer explain these facts, it shows its limits and its lack of usefulness, and it must be revised." - http://atheism.about.com/od/popejohnpaulii/a/evolution.htm\'>http://atheism.about.com/od/popejohnpaulii/a/evolution.htm\ "None of this necessarily means that Pope John Paul II accepted evolution as a fact and it certainly doesn’t mean that Catholics are required to accept evolution as a fact. Instead, the address was meant to lay out for Catholics a basis for accepting evolutionary theory. There are many scientific facts that the Catholic Church doesn’t require Catholics to accept — that the Sun in as the center of the solar system and that the Earth is round, for example. The truth of these statements is obvious to everyone, but that doesn’t make them appropriate for religious doctrine either." - http://atheism.about.com/od/popejohnpaulii/a/evolution.htm According to the above you're still missing something critical in how the church and catholics interpret what Pope John Paul said. Catholics are taught, for the most part, that god is all powerful and mankind cannot explain or understand his ways, etc.. Thus, I maintain that you continue to grossly misinterpret the subjective via your attempts to square peg round hole objective reasoning as a tool to understand matters which by their very nature cannot be explained scientifically - since the goal post can always move in a subjective argument - just ask 3 different people to define the same thing.. the rightness or wrongness of it depends on the individual you are asking. This is why individual catholics are taught to get their interpretations from the Pope and even the Pope's interpretations change from one Pope to another, and as it stands now no revisions of the bible to include evolution, or big bang, or the sun being the center of the universe have been planned so I guess this Pope and all Pope's before him have spoken... Strange, given that we've been to space and know exactly where the sun is, isn't it? Guess you might want to inform all of the Popes that they themselves are not catholic. Cheers *note I meant to say the earth is not the center of the universe not fixed and revolves around the sun.
  9. No, I personally don't think it's a pie in the sky. It is NECESSARY for everyone that is a member of the human race to start accepting that we are all in this together. Extreme poverty exists because people that have everything think they are entitled to as much as they can possibly acquire without regard for the consequences to everyone else. There is a finite amount of money and a very small percentage of mankind controls the majority of the world's resources and wealth. Growing food takes money, providing education, housing, and health care to your family takes money. There is a finite amount of money available in the world, and the Africans do not have their fair share of it. Now, when I say poor impoverished Africans, I mean all of them, including the poor white Afrikaners that are desolate in South Africa. One could say that they deserve the poverty that they've found themselves in. After all, what they did was unspeakable and after years of undeserved privilege they find themselves unable to obtain work because exploitation is not a marketable skill. I volunteer to help homeless Afrikaans kids who cannot afford to go to school and do not have access to quality education in maths and science as well. Black, white, red, brown, you don't stand a chance of making something out of yourself if you don't have a solid understanding of basic maths etc. People in that situation are at a severe disadvantage and run the risk of being manipulated and exploited by others who have been more fortunate. Westerners exploit other westerners, Africans exploit other Africans - although nowhere near as much as westerns exploit africans. So, until the majority of mankind figures out that we are all human beings and that "race"/class/ and other such differences are all just figments of our imagination we will continue to have these problems. It isn't as if westerns always got along in their past or even get along now, nor all native tribes in the Americas, and certainly the same is true for africans as well. Violence, intolerance, indifference, the desire to dehumanize fellow humans and place them into groups, selfishness, and other such forms of stupidity have always plagued mankind. When you couple the aforementioned weaknesses with things like greed what you get is a recipe for disaster. I'm not holding out faith that mankind will get this right. People just don't give a shit about things that don't impact them until they do. The problem with that approach is that once things start impacting one group the previously effected group stops giving a shit as well.. Thus, the cycle of stupidity continues via the pathway of revenge. Personally it is mind boggling. Mankind has all of this potential but we squander it all on petty things. Yet, these things are not for me to decide, so all I can do, is the best I can to help whoever I can however I can. Plenty of people say, just let the racist Afrikaners starve and take their medicine as they are owed it, but I don't see how that logic helps mankind to grow and move away from the hate-filled, violent, and exploitive practices of the past. To each his own I guess, but as I see it the weaknesses mentioned herein will be the death of us. Cheers..
  10. Hello, I hate to say this, but getting a graduate degree in a science with the hopes of finding a job in said science isn't always the best motivation for entering a PhD. I'd personally suggest that you enter the PhD in physics, or medical physics, or biophysics whatever the case may be because you LOVE what you are doing - not because you expect to be able to find a good job afterwards. The sad reality is that jobs in science are hard to come by and they have pretty much always been that way. As Swansont said above, only a mere fraction of people earning PhDs actually obtain professorships, and even more depressing, only a mere fraction of people obtaining professorships actually obtain tenure. Moreover, typically to even be considered for even the crappiest of tenure track prof jobs you will have to have at least a postdoc, but most likely 2. If you end up working at a community college or as an adjunct you may very well wish you'd never gone to graduate school for physics, and if you end up working in a field that doesn't require a PhD in physics at all you may also feel shafted regarding the better paying job aspect. That being said, I am nervous daily about my ability to land a prof job and continue to do research - as that is what I love to do - BUT - I LOVE chemistry and physics, thus if I cannot get a tenure track prof job I will start my own small start-up research company and work as a pilot in my second field of expertise to finance it. If that doesn't prove viable, I will simply volunteer as a career post doc and work as a pilot to pay the bills, because I LOVE chemistry and physics and I'd have gotten a PhD even if there were zero job prospects for me. So, if physics is your passion, get the PhD. You are ONLY 27 it is NOT the end of your life by any stretch. You'll have to sacrifice other things, like maybe buying new cars less often or holding off on the purchase of a house to make up for the loss in retirement savings, but those things are neither here nor there (you can make that up by living really really cheaply). Best of luck, and don't let your age stop you from doing what you love! I was on a cross country motorcycle ride down the southern east cost last year - and there was a billboard for a 90 something year old woman that had finally gotten her undergrad degree - and it read something like - "The oldest college graduate in the world" or some such. It's never too late.. Cheers
  11. I disagree. If there has been any misunderstanding it's you misunderstanding me. *you* are interpreting that catholicism doesn't allow - *apparent* - contradictions between the bible and science. This is not the case. Catholics like my friend believe in the bible - and yet they readily accept that carbon dating is valid and thus he age of the earth in the bible cannot be as *currently interpreted* by mankind.. this doesn't mean that they do not believe what their god says in the bible (in fact they believe their god to be capable of miracles).. thus, it is you that has misunderstood pretty much everything that I've said. I understand you quite well, unfortunately, you are the one failing to see the difference between literally feeling like the bible is wrong (not the case with my friend) and accepting that science has debunked some claims stated in the bible (carbon dating and the age of the earth claims made in the bible). Thus as I said before, my friend believes in miracles and his god being all powerful... Thus, while he accepts that the age for the earth reported in the bible can't possibly be right according to carbon dating - from a scientific perspective - his faith based perspective allows for him to say to himself (but god is all powerful, works in mysterious ways, and I have no right to questions his authority yada yada).. Hence what I've been saying and saying about compartmentalization.. Cheers
  12. That's just bad science. There is no evidence that a poor african family with no children (2 people) can divide zero into more fractions than a poor african family with 5 children (7 people). The source of the problem isn't overpopulation. Granted, overpopulation doesn't help, but even if you let every single child starve to death in Ethiopia they'd still require food aid because as I said before zero doesn't divide into multiple fractions for anyone no matter fiscally responsible and no matter how much birth control is dispensed. You will solve the problems in Africa by expelling western mining companies immediately with no further compensation allowed, and providing food, and education. The problem with education is that it does not kick in immediately, and when you are starving to death and/or your children and family members are starving to death it is hard to get to school and actually learn anything useful. Thus, the key to solving this problem is expelling ALL of the western business that are currently exploiting Africa's resources, providing education, and providing the necessary food/etc until said education can take effect. Honestly though, the problem is that the majority don't give a rat's ass about Africa, and thus the people like me who do care are too few and far between to actually have an impact. But that"s "humanity" for you, most days I'm embarrassed to be human.. Cheers The evidence for malnutrition stunting neural development continues to pile on. Moreover, poverty, at least in Africa, could be stated mathematically as directly proportional to malnutrition. That is to say, if you are poor in Africa you are likely starving, severely under weight, homeless, and suffering from any manner of very preventable diseases. Cheers
  13. ^ I think you are misinterpreting the cannons and the catholic interpretation of the bible. Apparently Lamaitre the catholic priest and physicist who envisioned the big bang theory disagrees with you as well. You should read some of what - he - a catholic priest and scientist had to say on this issue. It falls inline more with what my friend believes and completely contradicts your interpretation. If a catholic priest can envision the big bang and still believe in god and also avoided excommunication then your perspective must be wrong. You may think it isn't sensible for someone to be religious and I personally think being an atheist makes even less sense. If you're going to have an opinion about something that cannot be explained at all - like the origin/purpose of the universe, why not have a positive one. Honestly, if one wants to be truly scientific, my position is the only logical position to take - which to clarify is the position that - I don't have a opinion one way or the other. God to me is like the concept of Alien life. It may or may not be out there (who knows) no point in deciding with insufficient evidence. Atheists and religious people are just different sides of the same coin. From my perspective neither of you are "sensible" from a scientific standpoint, but science isn't meant to explain the subjective and things like love, faith, and religion fall squarely in the realm of subjectivity - so good luck telling catholics that they aren't catholic if they accept evolution or the big bang theory.. I think you will find that many of them don't care much about your perspective of how they should interpret their religion and it's relevant texts.. "Pope Benedict XVI said the debate raging in some countries — particularly the United States and his native Germany — between creationism and evolution was an “absurdity,” saying that evolution can coexist with faith. - http://www.msnbc.msn.com/id/19956961/ns/world_news-europe/t/pope-creation-vs-evolution-clash-absurdity/ Sorry about the double post. Nacigating this site on the iPhone is not ideal and the connections is so slow that fixing the qbove is not worth it... Cheers
  14. Hello, I contacted my colleague who is a biochemist and he contacted our other colleague - the food chemist - who is wary of giving advice about something like this online (mostly because it is possible to accidentally concentrate unwanted additives and consume them in unsafe amounts if the incorrect materials and/or procedures are used. I understand your predicament, thus I will see what I can do myself, but I think you should contact a custom chemical process startup company if possible (more on this later) Finding a way to recrystalize the amino acids is not as much of a problem as ensuring there are no impurities. Since you are going to be consuming this I think it would be prudent to triple check whatever procedure you use and if possible come up with a trusted source for all the materials you are planning to use, so that quality control can be ensured. The problem is you don't want to concentrate something that is typically meant to be an additive and slowly dose yourself with unacceptably high levels of said additive ( like preservatives, etc)... Another problem could be unforeseen impurities that end up in their product from packaging process etc that aren't harmful when the food products are being used for the designed purpose, but that over time, and perhaps during atypical use of the product - concentrate and become harmful.. Thus, I think - if you can afford it - you would be well served to take whatever method you decide on and run it by one of those small start-up custom chemical process companies. They may, for a cheap price, be able to help you work out a process that works for you, and provide you with quality suppliers. Many of these places do consulting for breweries, candy manufacturers, supplements, baking goods, you name it... If you contact someone like that, and they can't/won't help you I will do what I can.. but as I said before, unfortunately I am just a computational/green synthetic chemist - so not even in the same neighborhood as a food chemist, but I will do my best to help however I can.. For now I will throughly look over your proposed procedure above when I have time next week, and I will get back to you sometime this coming weekend.. Cheers
  15. I believe this person is bilingual. As english is not my first language I do sympathize, but I am still concerned about the skill level of the OP as I am always reluctant to give anything but theoretical advice to people with limited training in chemistry. Even the most basic acid/base experiment can result in injuries if the person is not properly trained. Perhaps it would be easiest if the OP would post the procedure he/she is quoting or whatever reference he/she is using instead of explaining it in his/her own words, that way we can more easily overcome the language barrier... Cheers
  16. I disagree, I'm not religious, thus I do not compartmentalize the observable with the metaphysical (I simply do not have an opinion on that which cannot be observed and that works for me but I am not everybody) - BUT - in order for the catholic god to be debunked you'd have to first prove that said god does not exist in any realm, that said god is therefore not all powerful, and that as a result of 1 and 2 being falsified said god must therefore be incapable of miracles and incapable of doing things that are beyond the understanding, and even the technology, of mankind. I personally don't believe in the catholic god, despite coming from a catholic family, but I cannot call my physicist friend ridiculous just because he has chosen to compartmentalize science and religion and have faith that there are things that his god can do that our science simply cannot explain - and by that I mean - he believes that while science debunks the statements made in the bible from the objective perspective, his faith based perspective accepts that god is all powerful, that mankind cannot explain his ways, and thus it is possible for all statements in the bible to be true in some way that he cannot at this time understand while also accepting that objective reality suggests otherwise and therefore all scientific assertions should be made based on the latter and not the former. I admit it is difficult to imagine how he was able to do all of this, but I am not him and thus it is not my place to dismiss it simply because I cannot do it myself. I should note that he is not alone in this approach: - http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Georges_Lemaître "Lemaître proposed what became known as the Big Bang theory of the origin of the Universe, which he called his 'hypothesis of the primeval atom'.[1][2]" - catholic priest & scientist - undoubtedly believed wholeheartedly in both his scientific work and his religion. It's amazing what the mind can do when it is not constrained by the perceptions of other people. Thus I maintain that many people who get involved with these discussions neglect to accept that when faith is introduced into the equation you cannot prove or falsify something that cannot be observed and therefore directly quantified via the scientific method. As I said earlier, to debunk the catholic god or any other god perceived as being all powerful and capable of miracles etc, one would have to first prove that said god does not exist and is not capable of ever brining the reality defined in [enter random religious text here] to reality at any time in either the future or past. This is why mixing science with faith based belief systems is an exercise in futility. Science is meant to explain the observable, and religion is meant to explain that which cannot be known or observed and is taken on faith by those who choose to believe. I personally think you can be equally open minded if you take my approach (which is to have no opinion at all) - or - take the atheist approach (which is to flat out disbelieve) - or - take the religious approach (which is to have blind faith).. So long as no matter what you choose you accept the limits of both faith based and science based approaches to quantify "reality" and do not become so rigid in thought that negative evidence is used to debunk things that cannot be debunked at this time, or so rigid in your thinking that blind faith becomes a substitute for rigorous scientific investigation of the reality that can be observed and thus stunting the technological advancement of mankind. It reminds me of that saying: "a place for everything and everything in it's place" - I personally think that is appropriate here.. just my two cents.. Cheers
  17. Hello, Are all of these labs at the same UNI? Picking the wrong lab can definitely be a nightmare, politics are a big part of graduate school, and if for whatever reason you do end up joining the wrong lab (assuming all these Profs are at the same school) then you will be best off leaving the lab in your first semester before you've done too much research. To avoid picking the wrong prof, try to sit through the group meeting of each prof before you select a lab (assuming these are all at the same school). Going to one or two group meetings (assuming they have weekly meetings - some groups don't) will give you a very good idea of how the professor interacts with his/her students and what they consider important... Personality clashes with you advisor are unfortunate - but they don't have to be the end of the world as long as you like your project. That being said, the first thing you will want to do is make sure that you know exactly what kind of advising style you are looking for. In my experience (Chem PhD) there are typically 6 major types of advisors at every school. 1. The micromanager (he/she will NEVER let you have - let alone work on - your own ideas) 2. The BFF (this person will be so chummy there will be no clear lines between where the PI begins and the student ends, seems fun at first, but trust me it gets old really quick) - an unfortunate variation of this is the touchy-feely/overtly flirty BFF advisor (run don't walk away from those) 3. The who are you and what are you doing in my office advisor (this person has a group managed mostly by an army of post docs and there are so many graduate students nobody actually knows/cares/or can remember your name. If you are independent and like to be able to have your own creative input on your project this kind of advisor is actually ideal. 4. (Incompetent) - The shut-up and try the experiment again advisor, (this person is a variation of number 1 only the change is deadly. It is possible to work for a micromanaging advisor but the incompetent advisor is impossible to work for. He/she has wandered dangerously outside his/her field and didn't bother to prep for the transition (why should they, they know everything that is what PhD means?) and they will make you do all the work for them. You will likely be taking classes in areas not related at all to your desired field of study, you will spend most of your PhD getting half-competent in an unrelated field under the guise of a collaboration whilst your skills needed to advance in your chosen field get rusty. 5. The asshole - this advisor typically has at least one or two minions and they will be the bane of your existence all through your PhD if you don't get in good with them. They are unfortunately typically incompetent and love to steal other ppls research. Often the asshole advisor is incompetent as well, but that is not always the case. This guy sees graduate students as replaceable lab equipment. That is why there are only 3 hoods available in his lab but he took 5 of you. Somehow you will work it out - sink or swim bitches! - this is the guy who forgets to fill in your paperwork so your pay gets delayed, puts the minions on your paper for their "input" into your project (which is typically none), and pretty much makes your entire grad school experience suck in any way that he possibly can. 6. The professional - this advisor is also one of my favorites. They are typically willing to help you as much as they can, but at the same time give you the freedom to try out your own ideas. They have a healthy mix of accepting responsibility for training PhD students whilst balancing their commitments to their career. They are typically - but not always - tenured profs. They typically have group meeting once a week or twice a month. They don't micromanage, but will provide you input when you present them with the required data in support of your project at meetings. You typically have to address them as Dr. so and so and you're typically only ever invited to their house during Christmas parties and other such holidays. How to spot them - to the best of my knowledge: 1. The micromanager - when you meet them - will already be planning out your entire PhD. They will not bother to ask you what you like to work on, they will show you what they EXPECT you to work on and even go about telling you how they expect you to do it. Students in their lab will spend about 40% of their week getting prepped for group meeting presentations or 1 on 1 daily interviews with the advisor. Just ask the students in the lab how often the advisor comes around, and what they have to present for group meeting. If it is much more than a chalk talk, or some slides with relevant data - be forewarned - you're likely to get bogged down doing busy work. If you're hyper-efficient you can probably survive in this group, although you might not like it too much (my advice would be to only venture there if you LOVE the research). 2. The BFF, will be really chummy with you when you meet with them the first time. Their other students might possibly act inappropriately with them as well (if they are the really bad touchy-feely kind). Pretty much on day one they will ask you to drop the Dr. and call them by their first name. They will spend most of the meeting asking you about your personal life and you might walk out of the interview with them having no idea what they actually work on, expect from you, etc. Expect group meeting to take place at a local bar or restaurant - if you have meetings at all.. So long as they're not the inappropriate kind of touchy-feely advisor you can survive in this group too.. Just don't expect your advisor to take too much interest in your work or help you all that much. Again, if you're independent you can do well in this group too and it is a plus over the micromanager in the sense that you will have basic free reign over your project in many cases.. *note, simply being friendly is one thing, when I say BFF, I mean your advisor is mid 30s still acts 20, asks you if you want to go get a beer, or hang out at his/her place (and it's not a group outing), never talks about research or your project etc.. most of group meeting is spent planning all of the social functions for the group (there are typically many - sometimes multiple times a month etc).. 3. The who are you and why are you in my office advisor - is my personal favorite honestly. If you're independent this works great. The group is usually too large to have a chance of getting too chumy, post docs are frequently recycled so there is a constant stream of new knowledge coming in, the advisor is mostly hands off and as long as you are getting good research results you won't really see him unless you are at group meeting or lucky enough to get time to meet with him/her. *note, if you are expecting to learn from your advisor this is a bad bad bad bad bad setup. A lot of people can do really well in a group where the advisor functions more as a mentor and offers support to the graduate students. If you haven't done a lot of undergrad research / holding an MS in your field this group might be a little challenging to enter.. There are all kinds of setbacks when joining a new lab, in this case expect to set up everything you need for your work alone, and expect people to get annoyed when you ask questions and annoyed when you break things.. this is not the kind of group for people that are new to doing research in the lab.. 4. The incompetent advisor speaks for itself.. don't join that lab. You can sniff this out easily by doing a quick Sci-Finder search. If the advisor has few publications in the past 3 to 4 years (and they aren't a newly minted prof) and they used to have a lot of publications in one specific field that were in decent journals and now nothing - stay away. Or If the advisor has publications in crappy journals for the new field that he/she has branched out to - also consider staying away. Or If they have most of their publications listed from their post doc and they are more than 4 years into the prof job at your UNI - stay away.. 5. The asshole - This guy is sometimes hard to spot if you look only at your interaction with him in your one on one meeting before group selection - BUT - if you look at how many people graduate from his/her group with a PhD, how many get screwed over by extra classes, are on PERMANENT TA, take longer to graduate than others, if he/she has a pet grad-student. This is typically easy to figure out too - although admittedly not always - because the pet grad-student's name will always come up - pretty much every third sentence - and if you visit a group meeting the pet grad-student (surrounded by the loyal minions) will be tearing whomever's presentation apart. Typically the errors in the presentation will be minor and/or obvious typos/irrelevant but the pet grad-student and the minions will harp on it anyway. Unfortunately, due to their incompetence they won't have any real/useful suggestions of their own - but that isn't really the point is it? The point is that the acronym for Nuclear Magnetic Resonance is NMR not nMR. In groups like this - presentations are usually done in a hostile environment - and lots and lots of second years quit and take a masters. So if all else fails check the graduation stats and don't be afraid to ask how many students have elected (not failed and were forced to take) the masters, although the failure rates are important too - because sometimes those have more to do with the advisor than the student if the lab is a graveyard for PhD hopefuls.. *Note, this next thing has nothing to do with competence - BUT - if you are joining a new prof's lab - make sure you know what your UNI's policy is for people who are studying under a prof that doesn't make tenure. I had a friend who had to start over when her prof was not tenured and it sucked for her really bad because she was just far enough into the PhD to finally be rolling along and not far enough in to be able to just write when the guy was kicked by the university. In this particular case the denial of tenure was political, his research was good and he immediately got taken up by another school - and the friend had to transfer to the UNI and meet some of their basic requirements due to her not being a senior member of his group at the time of transfer. So yeah, that pretty much sums up everything I know about advisor selection from my personal experience and seeing what other ppl have gone through. Hope this was helpful.. Cheers
  18. Hello, Please don't go around lighting random unknown chemicals on fire unless your lab demonstrator and/or your professor tells you to do so. The analytical tests in the unknowns lad at your UNI or high school are carefully designed by your prof, attempting to identify unknown compounds outside of a lab setting could be potentially dangerous if you don't know what you're doing. If you'd like an answer to your question then you can simply type your observations into google and that should provide you with the desired answer. If - after you've found the answer to this question you'd like some more info - or an explanation or why certain things occur or do not occur - please post again and I would be happy to point you in the right direction. Best of luck with your studies.. Cheers
  19. "The findings from several authors confirm that undernutrition at an early age affects brain growth and intellectual quotient. Most part of students with the lowest scholastic achievement scores present suboptimal head circumference (anthropometric indicator of past nutrition and brain development) and brain size. On the other hand, intellectual quotient measured through intelligence tests (Weschler-R, or the Raven Progressives Matrices Test) has been described positively and significantly correlated with brain size measured by magnetic resonance imaging (MRI); " - http://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pubmed/11515234 "Scientists also found that hormones produced in response to stress literally wear down the brains of animals." - http://www.wired.com/wiredscience/2009/03/poordevelopment/ "A panel at the American Association for the Advancement of Science said children who grow up in environments with "family stress, negative social and environmental characteristics, and little cognitive stimulation" may not fully develop the parts of the brain critical for learning, memory and language, the AAAS said Friday in a release. Harvard researcher Jack Shonkoff said chemicals released by the body in situations like poverty and violence alter the hippocampus and affect cognition in the brain." - http://www.physorg.com/news122545748.html "malnutrition can cause decrease in brain volume, number of neurons, synapses, dendrites and reactive zones. After nutritional rehabilitation, although there was significant “catch up” in brain weight and volume, there was persistent reduction in the number of dendritic and synap- tic spines and cortical cells. These structures are important in the cell- to-cell communications. Specifically, the alterations in the hip-pocampus (associated with short term memory) and cerebellum (responsible for fine motor control and balance), are permanent. (Levitsky and Strupp, 1995). Observed problems among malnourished children consist of atten-tional dysfunction and impul- siveness, diminished ability to adapt to stressful situations, susceptibility to affective disorders like anxiety, and diminished motivations and exploratory behaviours. All of these may lead to impaired school per- formance and social and emotional development." - http://docs.google.com/viewer?a=v&q=cache:hVHMe_L0jnYJ:www.safpj.co.za/index.php/safpj/article/download/812/694+malnutrition+neural+development&hl=en&gl=za&pid=bl&srcid=ADGEEShfg4TWCPrOYJO1qFMMJL2nbNhWnBiOudcFvYkE3xvehf6jO2y6B3f315MXYC1Jr49ZUMVaejJlP60SRHmVhNNZZ8mkvOnWnpNO2X4AH1dpb1t8VtRi7zoNcA0DnfXFxuiKyar7&sig=AHIEtbQMxYGm6MclLQehKAms6ekYt2wjeQ&pli=1 Cheers
  20. Yes, this is a very good suggestion and could possibly work.. However I'd like to caution the OP not to just run with the procedure I've provided until it can be verified by someone who knows something about food chemistry.. The trouble would be not only getting food grade bicarb, but also ensuring that all sugars/etc are removed from the solution prior to attempting recrystalization. Since this person doesn't have access to characterization methods they have to be sure that they aren't getting any other impurity capable of recrystalizing in the final product as well.. It might be necessary to centrifuge - and following that - get rid of sugars by getting amino acids/color and other impurities in one fraction, separate, and then attempt a recrystalization of the amino acids. A food chemist would be able to say if the second step is necessary or if it is safe to simply neutralize an acidic solution containing amino acids and the rest (after centrifugation) - and recrystlize them out - without having other "impurities" commonly found in food also recrystlizing or cocrystalizing. Depending on what reagents are used preservatives, surfactants, etc might cause potential problems... I personally think this person needs a guaranteed (preferably known) fool proof procedure to pull this off, without the use of toxic chemicals, and assurance that no unwanted "impurities" will end up surviving the process and further aggravate their condition if they unknowingly consume them.. Cheers.
  21. Hello, I am so very sorry to hear about your troubles. I am guessing this will have to be a multi-step separation procedure because you cannot use any toxic solvents. Unfortunately I'm not a food chemist. I believe you will have to start out with a centrifuge of some sort, I have no idea how expensive one of those would be for home use, but I suspect it might be possible to easily send your mixture off to a local lab (small start-up company would be ideal) to have them do this for you and it might be surprisingly cheap - but I honestly don't know. Sorry.. But, if you could add some water to the mixture, the amino acids will stay in that liquid layer at the top and the heavier particles etc will end up at the bottom. Once you have that, it may be possible to separate the amino acids from the solution via recrystalization.. here is a patent on the recrystalization of amino acids. This might be ideal because the citric acid would likely stay in the aq layer after centrifugation as well, and if it did you could utilize that to carry out this procedure: http://www.freepatentsonline.com/5118815.html The problem now is that you'd have to try to neutralize the citric acid with a base - and since I am not a food chemist - I am not exactly sure what would be the best to use for this. Water will not work because the pka of citric acid is approximately 3.5 and the pka of hydronium ion is approximately -1.7 - so the equilibrium would favor citric acid so you wouldn't see neutralization with that. Thus, you need an alkali food that will not f'up your recrystalization.. This is the best I can think of on my own, but I have a friend who is a biochemist and he may have some other suggestions for you. I will ask him to review your post and respond if he can. Sorry I didn't have a more complete answer for you, but please do check back here in a day or so.. if it takes awhile to respond it's because he and/or I am trying to work out a better answer for you which will require some research as I am not a food chemist.. Best of luck.. Cheers
  22. Having actually been to Africa, I can say that there are quite a few misconceptions. There are plenty of places in Africa where nobody has access to the internet, a cell phone, power, or even a toilet. Places like this exist even in the "mecca" of Africa, South Africa. The "education" that can be accessed in many of these places doesn't even qualify, and when you view the way these people are forced to live - after years of unspeakable evils - it becomes obvious why many of them are struggling to take care of themselves. To suggest that they are incapable of learning is ridiculous and to suggest that they would learn faster if left to fend for themselves is also ridiculous. When I was doing AIDS related research in Africa, I volunteer a lot of time teaching at the local poor black schools, and honestly some of the "science" teachers there needed tutoring in math and science just as much as the students. Then, if you take a look at a black African teacher (holding an MS) in South Africa - whose had access to normal nutrition and westernized education at a private school - these people are easily on par with many western primary and secondary school educators holding the equivalent MS. Those of us lucky enough to have birth certificates minted in the USA or some other western country have no idea what it is like to grow up this poor and can't begin to fathom the effect exposure to that kind of poverty and disease has on neural development. To paint these people as lazy parasites trying to "take advantage" of the western countries that come over and take *their* resources right from under them via mining, bioprospecting, etc is disingenuous. If we expect Africa to fend for itself we should surely force all the western companies to back out (with no further compensation) of their exploitive bioprospecting businesses, diamond mines, gold mines, etc and leave Africa's resources to Africa. When the western countries stop mining, etc in Africa and instead purchase diamonds, gold, etc from the countries of Africa at the fair market value then perhaps the notion that the west is always giving Africa handouts might hold more water, but currently if one is being logical, it simply does not. Just my two cents Cheers
  23. Hello, Hypervalent is right, your question is strangely worded. I wouldn't have known how to help you without reading your exchanges so far - and I am still not certain if I understand what you are asking. So, 1. if you are asking what is the reason for having glycine in GSH - then please continue on to the questions below. 2. If you are asking something else, please restate your question. Questions: Ask yourself the following questions to obtain your answer: 1. What makes glycine unique among the amino acids? 2. Where is glycine in the structure of GSH. 3. Once you've researched the chemistry of glycine, what important aspects of glycine's unique chemistry are maintained once covalently bound in GSH? 4. What does GSH do in the body? 5. What of GSH's functions in the body are assisted via glycine - i.e. - what role does glycine play in GSH's chemistry? Hope this helps.. best of luck with your studying Cheers edit: you may also find this useful - http://docs.google.com/viewer?a=v&q=cache:0kOkXzcofc4J:www.sfrbm.org/frs/DickinsonGSHSynthesis.pdf+synthesis+of+glutathione&hl=en&gl=za&pid=bl&srcid=ADGEEShemEMxJweqlJDaBhTlgCtuXJvxtzn-aRR21BkQMznHv_U3UDRHQg79oTmhdS0kyvYEa4nt_xn4y7vciACF1_M1o3iDHFIhI7UvQcrHCV18f8akXbrGzSkgJklWs6Bfb3w1th6C&sig=AHIEtbRfkgRrC9Il3N5TFCPvfWfrunEj1Q
  24. Hello, It will be extremely difficult for you to obtain access to quality chemicals. I personally don't know of any suppliers in the west that will ship to private individuals. The best you can do is call each chemical company and ask them about their policy for shipping to private individuals not associated with a company or a university. If you explain to them what you're using the chemicals for and are ordering small enough amounts they *might* ship to you. You can try Aldrich to start: http://www.sigmaaldrich.com/south-africa.html Cheers
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